Tag Archives: Ballow

1785 John Pryor: Campbell County, VA

I found only one Pryor signature in Campbell County legislative petitions. On December 1, 1785 the “sundry inhabitants” of Campbell County, VA signed a petition for removing the courthouse to Moormans or any other place may be rejected. It’s interesting but so frustrating because this appears to be a list of names rather than actual signatures.

Some names linked with the Pryors of Campbell County also appear on the document: Obadiah Pattison, Richard Oglesby, Littleberry Pattison, Barth. Stovall (Bartholomew Stovall), Silvanus Massey/Maxey, Edmund Franklin, Samuel Davidson, John Thurmond, John Thurmond Jr., Landers Pattison (Landis Pattison?), Renny Crews (Wrenny Crews)

Edmund Franklin

  • 1737 Will In Goochland County. Thomas Frankling of Henrico Co, To son Thomas, 1 shilling, To daughter Ann Lax, 1 shilling, To son Edmund, items, All rest to son John, to him all lands and to be executor., Dated 31 March 1727, Wit: Will’m Burke, John Stephens, Bartholomew Stovall, James Lax, Signed: Thomas Franking Recorded 17 May 1737 from Goochland Co VA Wills & Deeds, Book 3, 1736-1742
  • 1794 Marriage in Bedford County. Edmund Franklin (Thomas Franklin’s grandson) married married Betsy Pryor with permission of Harris Pryor.
  • 1819 Chancery Court Case in Bedford County. William Dickinson vs. HARRIS PRYOR. A 1819 summons issued to Edmund Franklin and wife Betsy, William Holliday and late wife Polly, Polly Pryor, Nancy Pryor, Harris Pryor, Richard Mays and Juggy his late wife, heirs of Harris Pryor deceased. Document in filed dated 14 Dec 1820, signed by Harris Pryor in Louisville, KY. States he was formerly of Bedford County, but was then a resident of Louisville.

Landis Pattison

We have two very good samples of Landis Pattison’s handwriting. A quick explanation to make the connection to why he’s important to tracing Pryors in VA. First, Harris Pryor and Landis Pattison witnessed John Wright’s will (John the husband of Mary New) 1775 in Prince Edward County. We have an early example of Landis Pattison’s signature on a deed dated 1773 in the documents of a Chancery Court case in Prince Edward County (see below). We also have his signature on a 1801 Legislative Petition filed in Campbell County (see below). Same signer? I’m undecided.

1773: Landis Pattison signature

 

1801: Landis Pattison signature

Richard Oglesby

Richard was the father of Mary Oglesby who married first Hezekiah Taylor in Campbell County (1807) and after his death married Isaac Crews (possible connection to Wrenny Crews?). Richard’s other daughter Keziah Oglesby married Henry Butler (or Boteler) — she is on the 1850 Census near Thomas B Hutson  (or Hudson) the son in law of Samuel and Frances Ferguson Pryor (Samuel and Fanny also had a son named Harris Pryor!).

Wrenny Crews

Wrenny is an interesting guy because there’s lots of great documentation of who he was and where he lived. He was born about 1767 — we can calculate his year of birth because he was actually alive and counted on the 1850 Census in Sumner County, TN! In 1836 Wrenny witnessed the will of Thomas Taylor of Sumner County and who I’ve looked at for possible ties to the Taylors who married Pryors in Campbell County, VA and later moved to Sumner County, TN. Thomas Taylor is possibly the same Thomas Taylor who was on the 1810 Census in Buckingham County, VA as his known brother, Garrett Taylor was on the 1820 Census in that same county.

I think it’s worth considering if the signature is John Pryor, brother of David Pryor in Buckingham County. Why? David married Susannah Ballow. John Pryor was a witness to James Kerr’s will in Campbell County with Charles Ballow. Charles Ballow married Mary Crews. I know– convoluted. However, I think it’s important to note that both Kerr’s will and the legislative petition were dated 1785.

Charles Ballow Connected to John Pryor of Campbell County, VA

charles-ballowI know I come back to the same documents over and over, but I love finding new ways to crunch the information. In 1785 John Pryor witnessed James Karr’s will in Campbell County, VA. Karr was holding a judgement against Charles Ballow:

1785 Will: “I, James Karr of Campbell, of sound and disposing mind and memory First, all my debts and funeral expenses to be paid. To my trusty friend, Charles Rork – 55 (pounds), “which the bonds is in the hands of George Hearon, being the price of my land on Pigg River”. Also, 25 (pounds) which I obtained [in a] judgment against Charles Bellue (Ballew/Ballow/Ballou). To my wife – one half of my still, which is now at my brother, Robert Carr’s. To the said Charles Rork – the other half of the still, and half the accounts “of papers and Thomas James now in the hands of David Ross“. To my wife – the other half of said accounts, that is, the accounts in said Ross’ hands. To Charles Rork – all accounts and debts due me that were not before mentioned. Also to Charles Rork Jr, my bay horse. At Campbell Court of Dec 7, 1786, the will of James Karr dec’d was proved by the oaths of witnesses Wright and Pryor, and OR.” – wits. John Pryor along with Robert Wright and James Rock (or Rork)

I’ve found more information on Charles Bellue. Charles Ballow is named in a 1780 Chancery Court case (Thomas Ballow vs heirs of Charles Ballow, Edward Haskins executor) in Cumberland County, VA. The suit names Charles Ballow (Jr.)* as an heir of Charles Ballow (Sr.), deceased and also names “infant” sons and daughters Jesse Ballow, Mary Ballow, John Ballow, Thomas Ballow. The suit was filed on behalf of the minors by their “friend” Frederick Hatcher. The suit made a division of slaves named Patt, Abba, Bob, Harry, Amos, Fanny, Judy, Greenoch, Sarah, Lucy, Skelton, and Arthur. The suit also refers to the elder Charles Ballow’s will dated 18 May 1767. It states that Charles has a considerable estate and he had appointed in his will Charles Ballow, Thomas Proper, Edward Haskins and Alexander Trent as executors, but only Edward Haskins took on the “burden” in probate.

Another suit filed in the Chancery Court in Cumberland County in 1793 is titled William Taylor and Rebecca his wife vs. Thomas Ballew, administrator of Charles Ballew, deceased and the children of Charles Ballew: Elizabeth, William H, Sarah, Charles, William Ballew their guardian. It states Charles died intestate and doesn’t name his wife, so she may have died before him.  The case file contains a division of Charles’ real estate and describes parcels bordered by Nelson Patterson, William Ballow, and slaves Jack and Candass.

An online family tree has a Charles Ballow married to Mary Crews. Remember Wrenny Crews from Campbell County went to Sumner County, TN and witnessed the will of Thomas Taylor formerly of Cumberland County, VA (see post). Also David Pryor of Cumberland County and later Buckingham County was married to Susannah Ballow (Ballew?).

So Charles Ballow is an interesting guy to look at for connections between Campbell County and Cumberland County.

* Note: I’ve used Jr. and Sr. to identify the older and younger Charles Ballows. This designation is not used in the original document.

First-hand Account of Pryor Line (and Ballew and Childress) in Nashville

jane-h-thomas

Miss Jane H. Thomas is my favorite lady of the week! Her memoir published in 1897 is titled Old Days in Nashville, TN Reminiscences. And of course, there’s some gold nuggets of Pryor information!

I have a method of examining personal histories. I want to know when the person lived, if they had a relationship to the people they wrote about. I also like to know how old they were when they were recounting the information (Did they have a clear recollection?) and also the age they were when the reported events occurred (Is it reasonable to expect they would have a memory of something that happened when they were two years old? Or were they told the story so it’s second-hand information? ). The person who wrote the book’s introduction states that Miss Jane was in possession of all her mental faculties. That’s a good start!

The introduction states that Miss Jane H Thomas was born in 1800 in Cumberland County, VA. That makes me interested in her since my own suspected Pryor line (and the Talley family of Gallatin they married into) has connections to Cumberland County! It states “her great-great grandfather on her mother’s side of the family, William Ballew, a Huguenot refugee, came to Virginia to live, and there he married Dorothy Parker.” Remember David Pryor and his wife Susannah Ballow (Balieu/Ballew) of Buckingham County, VA who moved to Nashville? Also of note, David owned land in Cumberland County.

It also states that Thomas Ballew married Jane Thomas who came to the Colonies from England in a ship with Isham Randolph. AND Miss Jane’s father was Jesse Thomas who married Micah Ballew.  There’s almost too much juicy information in her family line! David and Susannah’s daughter, Mitchie Pryor, married into the Jefferson family who were connected to the Randolphs. David and Susannah’s son, Nicholas Ballow Pryor, married Sally Thomas. More to research: Was Sally Thomas related to Miss Jane H. Thomas?

Now, it also sounds like her Thomas family didn’t step off the boat in Virginia: “Job Thomas the great-grandfather of Jane H. Thomas on her father’s side of the family, came from Pennsylvania to Virginia.”

Miss Jane came to Nashville in 1804 when she was a four year old. Some of her reminiscences state events at that time. While I’m doubtful she is drawing from her own personal memory of that time, she is still discussing people and events that occurred in Nashville and may have been from stories passed around her family and community. The tough part of Miss Jane’s book is that it doesn’t put into a clear context the timeframe of her memories.

So, here are the excerpts of the Pryors.

About the corner of Spruce and Cedar Streets a man by the name of Pryor, a carpenter, had a frame house.

She mentions some of his neighbors: Thomas Kirkman, James Irvin, John Beard. I wonder if this has a connection to a McCullough family who were living in Nashville at the time of the 1850 Census with an Elizabeth Pryor in their household. http://www.tnpryors.com/histories/mccullough.htm . McCullough was a carpenter.  House #663 was Rachel Irvin 62 born in VA — the McCullough household was #668.

Where the Normal College grounds now are Pryor, Anderson, & Rutherford had a race-track. Old Mr. Rains had a farm just beyond this. He used to come to town, and sometimes stay very late at night. When he went home he had to pass the race-track, and he always said he saw Dick Pryor, Patton Anderson, and the devil killing race-horses.

Isn’t this fun? Are you asking the same questions as me? Who was Dick Pryor or Richard Pryor? Where was the Normal College in the 1890’s? Who was Patton Anderson? When Miss Jane says he stayed late at night, does that imply some drinking was involved?

I found that Patton Anderson was shot dead at the Bedford County Courthouse in 1811 (see news article). The shooters were let off the hook and it’s noted in the James K Polk, A Political Biography (Yes, the Polk who was President) that Anderson was a personal friend of Andrew Jackson (also a President) and when the suspects were let free Jackson pointed at a juror and said, “I’ll mark you young man!”**

There an interesting story about The Belmont Domestic Academy, a school that opened in 1815, started by French immigrant Mr. Ambercrombie and his wife. It was a girls’ school where they learned French, music, dancing and literature. This sounds very high-brow, not a place that was teaching frontier girls homemaking skills like soap making and canning. She seems to have a great memory because she came up with the names of numerous classmates, like Harriet Overton who was General Overton’s daughter. The names that piqued my interest were the numerous Childress girls:

Maria Childress, and also Elizabeth Childress, Sarah and Susan Childress, of Murfeesboro… Lucy Tally from Gallatin*… They married as follows: Jane Childress and Sam Marshall; Matilda Childress and Judge Catron; Minerva Childress and Ben Litton, a brother of Mrs. Jesse Thomas; Maria Childress and Judge Brown; Elizabeth Childress and V. K. Stevenson; Sarah Childress and Dr. Rucker; Susan Childress and James K. Polk, President of the United States.

Why are the Childress girls so important? David Pryor (husband of Susannah Ballow)– his mother was a Miss Childress, daughter of Abraham Childress. Were these his cousins?

I think we got some good family researching fodder from this book!

* NOTE: I included Lucy Tally because my ancestor Allen L. Pryor of Gallatin married Elizabeth Talley also of Gallatin. Sumner County Pryors may wish to figure out Lucy’s relationship to the Elizabeth as her Talley family was from Cumberland Co., VA — same  place as Jane H. Thomas.

** NOTE:  If you want to read more about President Jackson and Patton Anderson, I found an article published in Sports Illustrated on 16 Jul 1956 (see article) that discusses their involvement in horse racing.

David Ross and the Pryors – Part 2 (The Ballews and Pittsylvania Co.)

va-pryorsI’ve thought that a 1785 will in Campbell County, VA was witnessed by John Pryor, brother of David Pryor who married Susannah Ballow. Now, I’m not so sure. I’ve been exploring these Pryors and now believe that Major John Pryor of Richmond is connected to John and David. We’re missing some people in the family tree so I can’t make a definite comment on the relationship. The John Pryor who was the witness could be either of these 2 men.

1785 Will: “I, James Karr of Campbell, of sound and disposing mind and memory First, all my debts and funeral expenses to be paid. To my trusty friend, Charles Rork – 55 (pounds), “which the bonds is in the hands of George Hearon, being the price of my land on Pigg River”. Also, 25 (pounds) which I obtained [in a] judgment against Charles Bellue (Ballew / Ballow / Ballou). To my wife – one half of my still, which is now at my brother, Robert Carr’s. To the said Charles Rork – the other half of the still, and half the accounts “of papers and Thomas James now in the hands of David Ross“. To my wife – the other half of said accounts, that is, the accounts in said Ross’ hands. To Charles Rork – all accounts and debts due me that were not before mentioned. Also to Charles Rork Jr, my bay horse. At Campbell Court of Dec 7, 1786, the will of James Karr dec’d was proved by the oaths of witnesses Wright and Pryor, and OR.” – John PRYOR along with Robert Wright and James Rock (or Rork) witnesses.

I’m trying to figure out if this information comes from the book Belieu, A History, however here’s what I found online

Nicholas Davies, who had land dealings with Albemarle Ballews, found iron mountain in Bedford Co., and this was purchased by Robert Harper, Thomas James, son of Wm., brother of Frances James Ballew, and Benjamin Elledge of Bedford Co. They established Oxford Bloomery which was purchased by David Ross of Pittsylvania Co., in 1776
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=kenrob39&id=I5540

Both a Ballew and Thomas James were named in the 1785 will  above and the Ballew information above.

A brief biography of Nicholas Davies (see online) drops all the landed-gentry family names that were connected with Major John Pryor: Fleming, Whiting, Beverly, Clayton. Nicholas Davies was a justice of the peace of Goochland County and later a sheriff in Cumberland County. And of course he corresponded with President Thomas Jefferson.

The same website that posted about Nicholas Davies (see above) also indicates the Ballews and David Ross were in Pittsylvania Co, VA and Ashe County, North Carolina. Interesting since David Pryor’s kin were in Rockingham County, North Carolina and Pittsylvania County, VA (see post about David Pryor’s kin)

So it could be John Pryor brother of David who witnessed the 1785 will or it could be Major John Pryor. No decision yet. The only thing I’m certain of is that I’m glad I’m searching for Pryors and not Ballews or any of the other hundred variations of that surname!

Affluent Pryor Families in Virginia

Recently I found myself  grouping Pryors by affluence. The Pryor families in Colonial and early-American Virginia were similar to other well- known figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. In the 1700’s and early 1800’s land was a measure of wealth. Heads of families saw themselves as yeoman farmers, gentry. Education was prized and the affluent Pryor families patronized universities. The affluent Pryors served their country during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, holding the rank of Major, Colonel, and General.

Col. Samuel Pryor b. 1698 > John Pryor b. 1743 > Richard Pryor and Ann Bland> Theodorick  Pryor > Roger A Pryor. Nancy Bland who married Richard Pryor was the grand-daughter of a president of William and Mary College (William Yates).  Theodorick Pryor attended Hamden Sydney College.  One biography of Theodorick Pryor states that he met with Jefferson Davis several times.  Roger A Pryor, the son of Theodorick Pryor was a member of congress, Civil War general,  and a judge in NY state after the Civil War. Theodorick’s brother, Richard Pryor was a trustee of Spring Hill Male Academy.

Col. Samuel Pryor b. 1698 > John Pryor b. 1743 > Luke Pryor & Ann Batte Lane> Luke  Pryor  b. 1820 & John Benjamin Pryor. Luke Pryor was a US Senator and his brother John Benjamin Pryor was a noted race horse trainer for affluent Adam Lewis Bingaman (member of the MS house of representative and senate).

Col. Samuel Pryor b. 1698 > John Pryor b. 1743 > Richard Pryor and Ann Bland > Philip Pryor > Samuel B Pryor and Charles R. Pryor. Richard Bland was a member of the first Continental Congress. His daughter Ann Bland married John Pryor, a son of Col. Samuel Pryor of Goochland Co., VA.  Their son Philip settled in Brunswick Co., VA and was the father of Samuel B. Pryor who was a cadet in the first class at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), attended Hamden Sydney College and became the first mayor of Dallas, TX. Samuel’s brother, Charles R. Pryor, was the editor of the Dallas Herald, held a medical degree from the University of Virginia and was the Secretary of State for the Confederate State of Texas.

Christopher Pryor b. 1745 – d. 1803, John C. (Clayton) Pryor was a governor of William and Mary College; he sat on the Board of Visitors from 1816 to 1837.

Brazure  Williams Pryor b. 1775-1794 Served as a Brigadere General in the War of 1812. Member of the Virginia House of Delegates.  He also hosted General Lafayette on his return to the US in 1824. Customs Collector at the Port of Norfolk. Bazure was the grandson of Brazure Williams and possibly the son of a Samuel Pryor who was named as Williams’ son-in-law in his will.

David Pryor b. 1738 and Susan Ballow of Amherst Co.> Their daughter Mitchie Pryor married Randolph Jefferson the brother of President Thomas Jefferson.  Their son Nicholas B. Pryor wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1813 requesting a military appointment and later became a county commissioner in Nashville. Nicholas’ sons were lawyers and postmasters, and his daughters married well (Emily married James Dibrell who was a physician).

Major John Pryor who married Ann Beverly Whiting. He served in the American Revolution and resided in Richmond, Va from the time of his marriage in 1807. A Randolph cousin of Thomas Jefferson’s lived in their household. He was wealthy enough to own a pleasure park and owned race horses.